How does an IB education prepare students for their future studies and careers? After graduating from Edron Academy, Mexico with a bilingual IB diploma, Andrea Mariana Islas is shaping her career in international affairs.
by Andrea Mariana Islas
On my first week as an undergraduate student at New York University, I was nervous and a little bit scared. I wondered how challenging my courses were going to be and whether I would be able to keep up with all my assignments. I quickly realised that the Diploma Programme (DP) had set me up for success.
I am naturally inquisitive and passionate about learning, and the DP gave me the opportunity to engage with the material and develop my own areas of expertise.
One of the main contributions of the DP to my academic development was its emphasis on critical thinking. From physics to literature, every subject encouraged me to approach the problem at hand in an organised and holistic manner. Instead of paraphrasing a textbook, I learned how to break down complex problems and take into consideration how different factors interact in order to gain a better understanding of the phenomena I studied. I am naturally inquisitive and passionate about learning, and the DP gave me the opportunity to engage with the material and develop my own areas of expertise.
I worked hard into the night on the extended essay, testing my discipline and motivation to succeed. However, I soon developed the ability to properly structure my writing to make it clear, concise and accessible. When the time came to write my undergraduate dissertation, I had no doubt in my mind that I could do it because I had already done it before. Moreover, the positive feedback I have since received at work and during my Master’s degree reflects the advanced writing and analytical skills I acquired as a DP student.
Beyond academics, I believe the DP is well designed to prepare the global citizens of the future. In my literature and language classes, I gained exposure to a wide variety of films and texts exploring the human condition across continents and centuries. The DP taught me how to be more open-minded and put myself in other people’s shoes, responding with empathy and recognising that we all have more in common that unites us rather than divides us. In addition to this, my teachers were often from very different backgrounds and had lived in several countries before arriving at my school.
I will always be grateful to my teachers at the Edron Academy for their dedication, friendliness and support.
The environment of international camaraderie that the DP fosters inspired me to seek a diverse setting where I can learn from the personal experiences of those around me and see the world in a new light. As a result, I decided to embark on a journey that would take me further than I ever imagined. I graduated as a Presidential Honours Scholar from New York University in 2015 and received the Dean’s Award in International Relations. After working in management consulting and completing internships at Chatham House, the Clinton Global Initiative and the NYC Mayor’s Office for International Affairs, I am now pursuing a Masters in Public Administration at the London School of Economics. My sincerest aspiration is to become a policy-maker and to make a difference in my country and around the world.
I am certain that the DP was an indispensable part of my education. It equipped me with the necessary tools to stand out both academically and professionally in multicultural contexts. I will always be grateful to my teachers at the Edron Academy for their dedication, friendliness and support. The DP taught me that I have the capacity to achieve any goal I set my mind to, and I would strongly encourage all students considering whether or not to enroll to test their limits and discover their true potential.
Andrea Mariana Islas is a graduate of Edron Academy, Mexico and New York University, US. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public administration at the London School of Economics.
Tell us your IB story by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.